As we approach the Christmas season, the opportunities for serving people around us abound. There is everything from the canned food drive at school and church to the bell-ringing Salvation Army workers at the mall. Everywhere you look, you can give.

We want our preschoolers to give. We all want our preschoolers to grow up knowing that everything they have is a gift from above, and we are meant to share with those in need. However, that is a REALLY hard concept for preschoolers. The majority of giving opportunities are not concrete in nature. They don’t connect that putting a dollar of their money in the bell ringer’s pot is helping someone. They just put a dollar in the pot. They have no idea that money will help clothe and feed someone else.

It’s very important to give preschoolers a concrete view of helping others. They need to see something tangible and then see it going to someone in need. Collecting coats for people who are cold is something they understand. They’ve been cold. They know you need a coat to keep you warm. Packing a gift box or bag for a kid their age is something they understand. They know they get presents at Christmas. They can understand giving presents to others too.

If the giving opportunity is more abstract, such as sending money to a cause, be sure to show concrete examples of what this money is doing. If their money is going to buy rice, bring in a bucket of rice and explain its use. If their money is going to help build a well or water cleaning facility, bring in water and talk about all the things we need water to do.

Whatever giving opportunity your organization chooses this Christmas season, be sure you’ve considered a concrete way to connect it to your preschoolers. You’ll be glad you did.

Orange is partnering with Compassion International this year. Be sure to check out the download matrix for the H2Go! button to find multiple resources to help you include a special Parent CUE.